State grant to help MCFI expand staff

The Milwaukee Center for Independence will gain a new cohort of certified nursing assistants and community-based residential facility workers after receiving a “Wisconsin Fast Forward” grant of $99,125 last month.

The nonprofit organization helps individuals of all ages with special needs prepare to “better live and work in the community,” as its mission states.

The recent grant, which Gov. Scott Walker announced during a visit to the center, was awarded to support training of workers with disabilities in hand with the state’s “A Better Bottom Line” initiative. That movement, touted by Walker throughout 2014, drew statewide attention to the need to open up employment opportunities for people with disabilities.

MCFI’s grant dollars will fund training of about 50 people who are currently struggling with barriers to employment. Training will prepare all 50 to become qualified certified nursing assistants. Ten of those participants will have an opportunity to complete additional training as community-based residential facility workers who can serve individuals recovering from mental illness.

“The Milwaukee Center for Independence is an excellent recipient of this grant, as its programs for children and adults with special needs (are) designed to support and assist them in becoming as independent as possible,” Walker said in a statement.

MCFI plans to hire all trainees once they have fulfilled their training obligations.

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